Is there a gender gap in research spin-offs financing? The signalling effect of the entrepreneurial team composition
The extensive literature on research spin-offs has examined various dimensions of the phenomenon, including creation, development, and growth. However, no studies have addressed gender discrimination in financing. While the context of research spin-offs might smoothen the differences between male and female academic entrepreneurs, we argue that investors associate the presence of women into the entrepreneurial team as a negative signal for the financing decision. An analysis carried out on a sample of 239 Italian research spin-offs reveals that a growing presence of women in the entrepreneurial team and a higher gender diversity are associated with a lower likelihood to obtain external funding. The presence of a university as a stakeholder increases the penalty for spin-offs participated by women.
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